Fire in Trailer - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-18-2006, 03:07 PM   #15
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My 1978 Fiber Stream has the side window farthest from the entry door (opposite side of trailer) labeled [b]EXIT.
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The emergency exit in my Boler B1700RGH is the rear window. [b]It's just an ordinary round-cornered horizontal slider, like three other windows in the trailer, but it is the one which is wide enough that one is supposed to be able to climb out of it.
My screens slide open, just like the openable panel of the glass. The clear (un-obstructed) opening measures 22" wide by 18" high. The entire window is 48" wide by 18" high.
I cannot picture myself climbing out of that window.
After much thought, the only effective way to get out through it would be to dive head first. The 5' drop from the window to the ground has me concerned, though.
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Old 11-18-2006, 03:48 PM   #16
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Trailer: 1987 17 ft Burro
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I think everyone's best protection is a smoke alarm, coupled with a Carbon Monoxide alarm. They're very sensitive. I just got one yesterday- battery operated and - checking out the furnace it started screaming DANGER, CARBON MONOXIDE!! - a pretty sound clue I need to get out and have my heater checked. I think the pilot goes out and the sensor doesn't close off the propane (just guessing).

One of the things that bothered me about our new Burro was the back window was stuck shut. It was the first thing I fixed. The opening isn't too big, but propelled by a little fear and I believe I could jump right through!!

A small fire extinguisher and a reliable flashlight will round out my emergency preparedness - plus a small medical kit.

Happy Trails, Christi
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Old 11-18-2006, 04:38 PM   #17
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One of the reasons I got rid of my Scamp was that escape hatch in the roof. NO WAY is this ole woman going to crawl through a roof to get out. A child could not get out that way either. I wonder why Scamp doesn't use an escape window. I think it would make way more sense. I will definatley be able to get out of my Casita a lot easier than my old Scamp and I feel more safe knowing I have a window to crawl out of.
I do have both the carbon monoxide and the smoke detectors installed. I am paranoid of the furnace and water heater, and anything with gas or electric in. I would rather be oversafe than not safe enough.
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Old 11-18-2006, 06:03 PM   #18
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Name: Patty
Trailer: Casita 13 ft
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Some very good and sound advice on this thread. One thing I can share is that 20 years ago, hubby and I had a house fire in our brand new home. Bozo plumber didn't tighten the connection to the hot water heater and 3 months after moving in, the house burned down (kids were at school and we were at work thank God). What the fire and smoke didn't take, the water from the fire trucks finished off! Anyway, we learned that the hot water heater is the single biggest danger in a home. I would have thought the cook stove or heater any day.

When you consider how small these campers are and how fast a fire could spread, your talking minutes maybe even seconds to get out! Thats why detecting the smoke or fumes before the actual flame starts is critical. You can bet that we will have every kind of detector in our camper along with fire extinguishers the very weekend that we bring Dumplin' home (Dec. 15th). You just can't be too careful.

Happy (and safe) Trails Ya'll
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Old 11-18-2006, 07:41 PM   #19
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It's possible to replace the fixed or sliding rear window of many brands, including Scamp, with a window that has an exit built into it -- Likely not inexpensive, but likely less expensive than changing brands (I believe Scamp, Casita and just about every RV manf use Hehr windows) -- Might even get one with some crankouts instead of sliders, which can be left open in rain and don't need the weep holes occasionally cleaned (8751-2).

Buccaneer/Hehr Windows

On my Scamp (91S13), the fire extinguisher was mounted to the rear of the closet -- I moved it to beside the door, where home extinguishers should also be kept -- You want to be moving towards the extinguisher AND the exit so you still have choices regarding personal safety and fighting the fire (of course, if you have bailed out of the exit, you have already made a choice).

One thing regarding the roof exit -- If the hatch was raised to any extent for ventilation, the exit part won't fully open without either lowering the hatch or forcing the mechanism to break or bend.
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Old 11-19-2006, 11:09 AM   #20
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... - checking out the furnace it started screaming DANGER, CARBON MONOXIDE!! - a pretty sound clue I need to get out and have my heater checked. I think the pilot goes out and the sensor doesn't close off the propane (just guessing)...
It's worth checking to see if the valve works properly; however, leaving propane running without a pilot flame should produce a propane warning, not a carbon monoxide warning. Leaking propane is a fire hazard, while carbon monoxide is a health hazard. I don't know how well these detectors distinguish the two.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is the product of incomplete combustion; it should go outside with a vented design. If a vented furnace is putting CO into the interior of the trailer, the heat exchanger may be cracked or otherwise failed. That's certainly something to check for.

CO - like the rest of the combustion exhaust - is delivered directly into the interior with an unvented heater. That may be one reason why these heaters are usually a catalytic design: the catalyst promotes complete combustion, minimizing CO production.
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Old 11-19-2006, 01:24 PM   #21
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what do people that smoke inside do about the detectors in such an enclosed space?

I actually have only been in one egg where the owners smoked inside and they had the detector disconnected because it kept going off.

Mine went off once when cooking, and once when I had a lantern going in there.
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Old 11-19-2006, 02:08 PM   #22
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Brian, You have a good point. I didn't think about a propane leak being a leaky pilot, not CO. Also, I did not smell anything at all, which I think would indicate CO, not propane. I think propane smells like gas, doesn't it, whereas CO is odorless?

I'm going to an authorized trailer place next week, and I'll let him do the real check. I don't know if I really trust those heaters.

Another thought I had while looking over our trailer with "new" eyes - Our curtains over the sink window were on a pretty long rod - which brought the curtains VERY close to the back burner on the stove. Plus, the curtains are about 2 inches longer than the counter. I thought this was a disaster waiting to happen.

I don't know if I would have seen it, except the trailer is new to us. I think we need to look around with "new eyes" once in a while. "If this trailer was new to me, what do I see."

Just a thought. Christi
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Old 11-19-2006, 03:36 PM   #23
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..Also, I did not smell anything at all, which I think would indicate CO, not propane. I think propane smells like gas, doesn't it, whereas CO is odorless?...
Right, CO is odorless; you wouldn't smell pure propane, either, which is why it (and natural gas) have an odorant added before they are sold - that's the "like gas" smell.
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Old 11-19-2006, 08:36 PM   #24
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Right, CO is odorless; you wouldn't smell pure propane, either, which is why it (and natural gas) have an odorant added before they are sold - that's the "like gas" smell.
well, this topic has been very educational. I think the next scamp we get (we want to trade up to a 16) will get retrofitted with an escape back window! I'm just a little wide and a top vent exit, sounds less able for me--only unless we had the table up, which we rarely do when campng. hmmm.
thanks for the good advice. good to notice few 'egg' emergencies. makes me feel more safe. we do have a co2/smoke detector and fire extinguisher--and yes, we have to put it outside when we cook--which is usually breakfast. not a time anybody wants to hear screaming electronics! ha!
we are both pretty fire conscious so i guess awareness helps. we set our ceramic heater on the stove portion, not the fiberglass--just in case it does get hot.
thanks all. sleep well out there!
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Old 11-19-2006, 10:41 PM   #25
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Trailer: Casita 2000 17ft. Liberty
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well, this topic has been very educational. I think the next scamp we get (we want to trade up to a 16) will get retrofitted with an escape back window! I'm just a little wide and a top vent exit, sounds less able for me--only unless we had the table up, which we rarely do when campng. hmmm.
thanks for the good advice. good to notice few 'egg' emergencies. makes me feel more safe. we do have a co2/smoke detector and fire extinguisher--and yes, we have to put it outside when we cook--which is usually breakfast. not a time anybody wants to hear screaming electronics! ha!
we are both pretty fire conscious so i guess awareness helps. we set our ceramic heater on the stove portion, not the fiberglass--just in case it does get hot.
thanks all. sleep well out there!
Sheesh- we are only 6 feet away from the door to escape! Why would I try to open the roof where it's the hottest and smokiest? As far as heaters go, of course, shut off at night, because your are snug in bed. Just put a sock on your nose.
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Old 11-20-2006, 06:16 AM   #26
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Sheesh- we are only 6 feet away from the door to escape! Why would I try to open the roof where it's the hottest and smokiest? As far as heaters go, of course, shut off at night, because your are snug in bed. Just put a sock on your nose.
I'm of the same thought Jim. If fiberglass owners use their head when it comes to stove/furnace/heater use, escaping because of a fire becomes almost a non-issue. but, you do have to think ahead about what you're going to do if you can't get the blasted door open for some reason...wind blows down a tree next to the trailer and the door won't open, etc. Under that type of circumstances there is plenty of time to figure how to get out, and to do it with minimal damage to the trailer and/or persons.
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Old 11-20-2006, 12:59 PM   #27
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My father ALWAYS kept the hatchet in his 13 foot Shasta - just in case. Also, kept it in our tent (for the two footed invaders). Fortunately, he never had to use it.
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Old 11-20-2006, 01:47 PM   #28
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...As far as heaters go, of course, shut off at night, because your are snug in bed. Just put a sock on your nose.
While this is certainly possible, and millions of tent campers have proven that it is practical to sleep without a heater, I thought that the point of buying all of this equipment in the trailer, then hauling it everywhere, was to use it. The idea of heating up the interior with a furnace during the day, just to turn it off when it is coldest outside, seems irrational to me. I don't do that at home, where a gas furnace lurks, ready to start a huge fire or leak gas and blow the whole house up... because I am more likely to win a lottery than suffer either of those fates. Of course, both home and RV gas systems and appliances must be maintained to be safe.

I suppose that one's choice in this matter may be dependent on the weather conditions - if overnight "cold" isn't actually cold, then using the heater is certainly optional.
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